Thank you Uncertainty!

Thank you Uncertainty!

Why can’t I just stop thinking about this?”  “Enough..!!” “Really, again??!!” I often find myself repeating all these words in a vicious loop in my head. I often find myself struggling between spiritua-lity and rea-lity..

Spirituality says “Let it go”, reality says “You are kidding yourself again!”

Obsessing, Overthinking & Overanalysing are the by-products of anxiety which is a by-product of Uncertainty!!

Uncertainty – The Royal Pain

Uncertainty can be an incredibly frustrating, overwhelming, and even paralyzing experience. The harder you try to fight uncertainty, the more it mocks you, pulls you down and sucks the happiness out of the present.

So as soon as the “brain” realises that the “mind” is going into an overdrive, it takes out all its tools and starts “analysing“. Now the main role of “analysing” is to come up with a solution to either solve the problem (Duh..here) or even better, come up with a make-believe plan to delude (aka protect) ourselves from the misery that we are setting ourselves for..(alright..interesting…Thanks Brain!). We get relieved.

However, this relief is only temporary..sigh!

As soon as you convince your mind to “Stop thinking about the future”, “Just go with the flow” or maybe “Its all in God’s hand and you are his child, he won’t do wrong by you”, your tricky mind says (with a devilish grin) “Oh yeah? but what about this _(another pain in the ass uncertain thought). 

In hindsight I would like to say “Yea..this one..phew!”

As for me, till now I have thought the worst possible hypothesis of what could go wrong, and how pathetic a person I am etc. But well We are the Survivors aren’t we now (Devilish grin right back at you “Mind”)

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So a few strategies to stop over thinking:

Avoid

Like really let’s do it the old fashion way.. avoid thoughts.  Sing, play loud music, take a cold shower (even if its winters), go for a run (even if its burning outside). My point is indulge in some activity, move, don’t just sit there..get on it..distract yourself. The purpose is to each your brain that the trigger is NOT dangerous and does not require the warning signal. In a way tell your “mind” to “Shut up!

Stop trying to answer the worry question

Yes, leave it unresolved. Don’t ask your friends and family whether everything will be okay. Allow the uncertainty to be there. Eventually, you will get used to the uncertain thought and your anxiety will go away. This will actually increase your anxiety because you will no longer be doing the thing that you had been doing to avoid it. Just train the brain here to stop analysing. Easier said than done?! This answer might sound a bit confusing and maybe even crazy right now but….

Wait for it……..

There is a difference between thinking a number in your head and doing the math in your head

Thoughts pop into your head frequently that you do nothing with. For instance, if you see a bright coloured dress, you might think to yourself “that’s a nice dress.” That’s an automatic thought, it just popped up without you trying to do anything. You probably then do nothing with that thought. You do not try to analyse it. That is exactly what you do with Uncertainty thoughts….you do nothing!!

The problem is not the kind of something you try to do with the thought, the problem is just that you are trying to do anything with it.

It’s difficult..these steps, but you got to do what you have to do in order to keep yourself sane. So uncertainty, bring it on..I never back down from a fight anyways….

Peace out…..!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aroo..!!

Aroo..!!

Why are we afraid of silence?! Why does it become overwhelming when we are alone and there is no voice around?! Why do we want to keep ourselves busy all the time?! Isn’t the soul of human beings, the soul of the universe or whatever power it is that’s running the earth and its resources present in this “silence”?! Then why are we running away from something that we eventually have to become a part of?! 

Well the above few lines clearly define what being alone and silence does to me. It causes chaos in my mind, it causes bewilderment! But the good part of it is that it forces me to find a reason to get over it, because hey, it’s Monday tomorrow and I have to be focused at work. 

So, I figured out reason for why we are scared of silence or rather why I am (to be precise): 

I am scared of my thoughts. Noise is my escape, I am running away from memories which I don’t want to remember, or things I can’t forget or memories I had forgotten until I remember them. Things which have no relevance in my life today. 

So now that we have the diagnosis, we need to start the treatment. 

1. Breathe and be mindful of it – Well till today my dad asks me to meditate on my breathing everyday for a few minutes to keep my sanity alive (parents can tell when their kids are crazy). And I say I will do it, but I don’t. Sorry Daddy! But here I am today, bringing sanity into my life right here. I just being aware of where I am.

2. Listen to it..the silence. Look beyond the chaos. Well I would like to think myself as a marvel comic hero (like Flash or Iron Man, only female) and think that my superpowers will be activated if I can look beyond the chaos of my thoughts. Everyone has their own fantasies, this is mine. Period! What I mean is that think of something that you most dearly want and imagine that thing is beyond this cloud of these troubling thoughts. Now your efforts depend upon how madly you want that “thing” you want. 

3. You only going to make it worse. I am sure you have heard or read this one before, where overthinking leads to situations which were not even there in the first place. Write them down, cry, say sorry to yourself  for things you did wrong, but get over it. It’s in the past. Those thoughts have no right whatsoever  to hurt you anymore. Let bygones be bygones. Trust me this step takes a lot of courage. And it takes even more courage and planning to do things differently in the future as these thoughts are stubborn and they will haunt you again. 

I would like to thank “Aroo – a sense of bewilderment” today as this made me think what my thoughts are doing to me….they are “wasting my time“.! So what’s your escape??

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I am an unrealistic Optimist….??!!….Yes I am and I am proud of it. I get ridiculed often times (actually all the time) and my dear ones try to protect me in any way possible from going overboard in my thoughts and actions. So, from the normal reality of my present life to what one should do to live in this society, such realities are pushed into my brain in a hope that sense would prevail and I would (like everyone else) get into the mode of living a “normal sane life”and tread the path that many before me have followed. But then that little voice inside me, that spark of creativity playfully like a child smiles and tells me “We will make it one day,Girl!! Hold on!!.

I know you must be thinking, “Yea, we got the voice too but we got to go to work tomorrow & everyday for the good part of our lives, work hard, earn money, pay off loans, and dream of a brighter future for our kids”. Well, I say I am no different, I will go to work too, juggle with people, spring in a new idea to my boss and try to get a raise. But hey, how long can you really keep up with that?! Be honest to yourself if not to anyone else.

We all have an alter reality, a creativity which keeps on reminding us of “what ifs?”. No, they aren’t distractions, they are who we really are!!

Now, I am not saying give up your jobs and pursue your passions. We are all scared of doing something different, of…failing..but we are missing out on the experiences our creativity has to offer. Don’t give up on it! Pursue it everyday in any tiny way possible. Nothing is impossible until we give up on it. Make SMART goals for your passions too. Who knows where they will lead us. Have courage, have patience, have faith.

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Change is painful, but inevitable. Sometimes you won’t understand what’s happening, you may think things are not meant to be. You may feel dejected, sad. But STOP!! Stop being miserable, stop giving up. Don’t back down. You are at the dawn of a new lesson in your life. Keep working, don’t stop. Scared of something? Face it with your head held high.

Image courtesy: http://www.lifehack.org/376369/100-inspirational-quotes-that-will-give-you-strength-during-hard-times?ref=pp

Are you really listening to what I am saying?

Are you really listening to what I am saying?

In a world where emotional intelligence and mindfulness are the main topics of all mainstream trainings and workshops, we are bombarded with too many tools, which leave us puzzled. I often think after listening to a podcast or reading an article, that ok, I read a book and I feel my confidence is up but what are the practical steps I can practice everyday. I have tried affirmations, meditation etc., but I needed something which I could anytime like while walking, travelling, listening etc. I gather that it doesn’t have to be difficult if we start small and keep it simple. So, I sought the most common activity that I do in a day, which is “Interacting with people” and I thought how can I be mindful or increase my “EQ” while listening and talking?

Here are few tips that I came up with which might help you to be present whether is it while talking to someone or simply listening to someone:

  • Do not multi-task – Give the person your full, undivided attention. Most of the people today complain of the other person does not hear them properly, they are either busy on their phones, or typing on their laptops or simply appearing to be not-interesting (rude!!)
  • Recap or Summarize what the person is sharing – Always remember to summarize what the person just told you. It will solve two purposes, one that you will have to give your undivided attention to him/her (step 1) to understand and secondly once you summarize correctly, the person will trust you with more information.
  • WAIT !! – Yes, stop and think about the person’s query or discussion topic before forming opinions or giving rehearsed answers. Don’t worry, person will appreciate if you will take a pause and answer him what he wants to know or simply know your opinion.
  • Breathe – Simple, isn’t it. Remember to breathe as it brings your focus to what’s most important at that moment – which is? – The person in front of you.

So, what so you think? Are they easy enough for you? Please share your thoughts!!

Am sorry..but you are UNATTRACTIVE..!!

Am sorry..but you are UNATTRACTIVE..!!

Ok, so before you get your knickers in a twist by the baffling tagline, please stay with me because the word UNATTRACTIVE has nothing to do with looks or appearances.

Still there?

Great! Thank you.

Everyone wants to be a likeable person. Even the most introvert of people who like to quietly watch the crowd from a dark corner and be amused or jealous want to be known as  “not a bad person”. But then sometimes, even without knowing, we tend to do things that make us unattractive as a person so much so that people won’t even want to be near us. So lets look at such unattractive characteristics:

  1. You are Rude – Plain & simple. Now you might be working hard to save the world which is giving you unwanted anxiety and keeping you at edge or you might be frustrated with your life (Yea life is sad sometimes for everyone, you’re no exception) that you want to snap at everyone and anyone, but my friend that is making you unattractive. People can’t see what you can see, all they see is that you are impolite, offensive and other synonyms for impolite and offensive.
  2. You are always Negative – Please note, there is a thin line between positive criticism and pessimism. Criticism can only come from someone who has been in your position or has experience in the area. I mean to put it plainly it should look like an invaluable feedback and not as downright rejection. Criticism is advice, pessimism is hitting the self esteem which my dear is not appreciated by anyone.
  3. You are never Wrong – Ahh..the ego boost that this sentence gives you..I know that feeling..Guilty.  But the reality is that you are nothing but delusional. You can be wrong sometimes and the wiser alternative would be to either accept it or be quiet and not defend it, because if you do it would lead to more drama which will make you more Unattractive. It’s ok not to have the last say in an argument. Think about it and see yourself.
  4. You are Controlling – My favourite one. Subtle controlling is like a personal brand of heroin for Unattractive people. They usually take the passive aggressive route where people will be angry with you but they won’t be able to express it, which leaves you to do whatever you want. These people kill your self confidence, make you question your values, demoralise and so on and so forth. (I am already feeling unhealthy thinking such thoughts…tsk)

I am sure you all must have related this post to a particular person or maybe thinking about the times when you have behaved in some way or the other to express your Unattractiveness to others. My request to you is please stop strangulating others if you are an unattractive person as at the end of the time, you will be only man standing..like LITERALLY ALONE…!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Empathy is a Choice !!

Empathy is a Choice !!

21st century is an age of Extrospection.  Merriam-Webster dictionary meaning of Extrospection is “examination or observation of what is outside oneself”. And the simplest way of practising Extrospection is showing Empathy. Now, we all understand empathy as putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and looking at the situation, think their thoughts and feel their feelings. But above all, empathy is a choice and we all make this choice of whether or not to be empathetic every moment of everyday.

But are we really empathetic? Lets find out what we have become today and what an empathetic person is?

  1. “I am the best” – The 20th century was an age of introspection.  That age taught us that the best way to discover our lives and who we are, is to look within ourselves. And that pushes us to pursuing a lifestyle through self-interest. Most of the self-help books written in the past century would teach us that. So, thanks to our ancestors, we are selfish human beings. it is unnatural for us to think of others first. Also, we like to world to think and act just like us. An empathetic person thinks about the other person’s perspective first. No, it’s not sacrificing your happiness for the others. Nope. It about being sensitive about the other person’s feelings. Most of the time, the other person is saying the same thing but with different words. Think and don’t jump to be heard.

2. “Screw it…just do it” – Our age is result oriented. We are also the age of working in teams. Working in teams can help achieve fantastic results in every area. But we get so focused on the results, that we start working in isolation. We just think about our area of work and not how our work can benefit others and vice versa in achieving a common objective. Your way might be right for you, not for others. As a team member, we need to understand where everyone is coming from and how a true collaboration can happen. It’s not just about our development, it’s about developing others and helping others to do their best. An empathetic person doesn’t rush, he thinks about others and what they want to do and then starts thinking about how his expertise and work can completed others towards the common goal.

3.  “Just listen to me” – So how often have you heard this being said to you or to others? Many time is my guess. We just want to be heard. We think we are effective listeners, but we are not. We live in an extroverted world, where “everybody needs somebody” just to hear them out. Communication has become conversations where one person is just waiting for the other person to take a breath, that pause is where he quickly jumps in and gives his views which may or may to be directly related to the topic being discussed. Also, since we like to be liked by other people, we all believe that we are empathetic towards everyone. An empathetic person hears you, he understands where you are coming from. He suggests (doesn’t impose) solutions, he empathise (not criticises). He wants to know more about it (doesn’t want to end it after the download).

4. “No one can think like me, I can make it big, if they let me” – Another disadvantage of the extroverted, self-centred society we live in. The problem is that we think too much. And when we think too much we create more problems and then the solutions to those problems, which gives us a sense of false bravery and intelligence. We don’t realise that we complicate things ourselves unnecessarily. An empathetic person has confidence in himself but in others too. He respects the other person’s expertise and opinion. He is open to suggestions and can work according to his team members rather than “singing from his own hymn sheet.” He never thinks that he is the most intelligent of the lot. He allows himself to be part of the herd and not an outlier.

So, are you empathetic? Well, truth be told, I am not. But, I am learning. How I understand empathy is “seeing from the eyes of another, listening to from the ears of another and feeling from the heart of another.” Which is a herculean task. But atleast am trying.

It’s a long life and it can be lonely sometimes. Every body requires somebody who has their back. Which side do you want to be on is your choice.

Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments section. Until next time.